Wesselton struggles with no water for three days

Residents of Msukaligwa struggled as water was not available for three days last week.

Certain areas in Ermelo experienced water stoppage and low water pressure due to a main pipe from the airport reservoirs bursting on Wednesday morning.

According to municipal spokesman Mandla Zwane, ageing infrastructure could have been the cause of the burst pipe.

Affected areas were Ermelo East, the industrial area, Nederland Park, Phumula, Extension 1 and 2, Wesselton, Klipbou and the Ermelo CBD.

It was especially bad for residents in Wesselton with no alternative means of getting water.

When water stoppages occur, residents rely on natural water springs situated around Wesselton and Thusi Village.

They converge on these water sources and stand in long queues to fill as many containers as possible..

“We have no choice but to use this water. We wash with it and drink it even though it has not been tested and declared safe. We cannot afford to buy water in town,” said one resident.

On Tuesday, some areas in Wesselton still had no water, with one resident saying they were forced to travel to Ward 2 to collect water from the natural springs.

This means even longer queues with people travelling from afar on foot to collect water.

With no water, they also face sewage problems with toilets unable to be flushed, forcing them to use long drop toilets, adding to sewage problems that have plagued Ermelo throughout the years.

Water tankers had been arranged for the affected areas, but Ward 2 residents have yet to see one.
“I have yet to see these trucks, they only come once in blue moon,” said one resident.

Residents in town were fortunate. Residents in Pet Street confirmed that a water tanker had been in their area for them to collect water.

Msukaligwa municipal spokesman Mandla Zwane, has extended an apology, on behalf of the municipality, to affected consumers and asks the public to be patient, as they are dealing with the water problems.

Until then Thembelihle Dlamini and most of Wesselton will continue to stand in long queues for a chance to use natural springs whenever water shortages occur.



Amanda Mthembu

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